Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spreading The News (March)

This whole week is off schedule. I can barely keep track of what day it is. Hopefully you'll find at least one tidbit of info in this post to make up for my scatterbraininess (is that even a word???)


Romance Writers:

Highland Press Publishing is looking for 12,000-20,000 word manuscripts for their Themed Romance anthologies. Visit their website to see their list of available themes.

Science Fiction Writers:

Lightspeed Magazine is seeking original science fiction and fantasy stories of 1500-7500 words. Stories of 5000 words or less are preferred. They pay 5¢/word for original fiction, on acceptance.

MG Fantasy Writers:

Cricket Magazine is looking for more fantasy with a 9-14 year old hero.

Non-Fiction Writers:

The Dollar Stretcher, USA is looking for articles on ways to help save time and money. Their monthly print version pays $.10 per word!



The Working Writers Club is a professional club for writers, coaches, and speakers. They provide training, resources, and networking opportunities for its members. The club also offers genre critique groups, including children's.

Nan Yielding's site, The Writing Dream, offers tips and resources for aspiring book writers.

Need the perfect comparison? Simile Stack lets you search for similes based on keywords. You can even submit your own.

When you're feeling overwhelmed with work and underwhelmed with ideas, subscribe to Zenhabits. They have fantastic posts about how to be creative in today's hectic world.


Social Media

Google + --Although Facebook is still the most used social network, Google Plus is sweeping the internet. Add Me to your circle and check out the following blog post by Robert Lee Brewer.

11 Google Plus Tips For Writers

Pinterest --The third most popular site behind Facebook and Twitter, allows people to use pictures to organize, discuss and spread ideas and interests. I hear this site is downright addicting. I still haven't gotten an invitation to this site, (Hint, hint) but if you're one of the lucky pinners, here's a great article by Writer's Digest, for you to read:

How to Use Pinterest to Market Your Book

Klout --Klout was founded in 2008 to help you measure and leverage your influence. Klout measures influence online using data from your social networks. Anywhere you have an online presence, you have the opportunity to influence people by creating or sharing content that inspires actions such as likes, retweets, comments and more. The more engagement your posts receive, the more influential you are. Klout uses this information to provide you a Klout Score that measures your overall influence. I signed up this week and my score is already a 31.4. Plus, they offer perks!

Well, what are you waiting for? Go check out one or all of these cool sites and let us know which was your favorite!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Blogpost...

Yes, yes, I know. Monday's post is late. I don't know what happened! I'm usually at least two weeks ahead in my blog posts, but somehow the days got away from me.

You see, this year (in exactly 81 days) I turn 50 years old. The big 5-0. Half a century. How did that happen? Last time I looked, I was 25 and I had my whole life ahead of me. Now, my baby girl will turn 25 in October, and I'm eagerly awaiting John's son, Justin, and his girlfriend, to bless us with our first grandson's birth in August.

I know they say that 50 is the new 30, but when you feel more like 80, it's time to get rid of bad habits and take control.

Three weeks ago, I abandoned the Nutrisystem diet (the food was just ugly and it all tasted the same) and went back on the Atkin's Diet. I've done it before, I know it works. Besides, eating food out of cardboard containers is not something I see myself doing for the rest of my life, but having a low-carb lifestyle is definitely do-able. I've already lost eight pounds!

Then, last week, hubby John and I got serious about kicking the smoking habit. He bought the patch and I loaded up on Nicorette lozenges. My diet has suffered a little because a little chocolate makes everything better, but otherwise, we've stayed away from cigarettes. AND we've already saved $130! (Yes, I'm putting the money away for a special reward for the both of us.)

I think the lack of nicotine and carbohydrates has seriously affected my brain function, but I'm slowly coming around. I was able to write for a few hours last night (the first time I've written since quitting) and only reached for a cigarette once. Our clothes and our home smell so much better, we can both breathe easier, and hopefully, we've added a few more years to our lives so we can be around to watch our family grow.

I'm looking forward to turning 50. I have lots of plans and besides, 50 is as good an age as any to complete my first novel.

Monday, March 19, 2012

E-Book Giveaway Results!

You thought I forgot, didn't you?

Six people commented on the Angelia Almost Author Spotlight post. I used the handy-dandy, True Random Number Generator widget in the right hand corner of my blog page, and the widget picked #3. So, the third commenter gets their choice of e-book.

Who is the third commenter? Claudine G!! Congratulations!

Your e-book choices are:

Now, Claudine, you can contact me at with your e-mail address and Angelia will get in touch with you about your prize!

Thanks to everyone for playing along! If you didn't win this time, don't worry, I have more giveaways planned for the future. I love giveaways!

"Crank" by Ellen Hopkins (Book Thoughts)

"Kristina is the perfect daughter, gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble.
Then she meets the monster: crank.
And what begins as a wild ride turns into a struggle for her mind, her soul-her life."

When Kristina visits her father in Arizona for the summer, she finds out that her vision of him as the "Prince of Albuquerque" may have been just adream, and wonders whether the resentment she feels towards her mother, for keeping Kristina and her sister away, is misplaced.

Left alone in her father's shabby apartment building, Kristin meets Adam, aka Buddy, and introduces herself as Bree, her carefree alter-ego, who makes all the choices that Kristina would never make. In turn, Buddy introduces her to the monster.

When she returns to her family in Nevada, Kristina is forever changed, and the monster has already taken hold. She seeks out the monster and Bree appears more often. The higher she gets, the harder she crashes, making her ability to escape the clutches of the monster, ever harder.

Crank is Ellen Hopkins' debut novel. While this novel in verse is a work of fiction, it is loosely based on a true story-her daughter's.

The book is thick, about 537 pages thick! But the word count is less than 35,000. Every word is carefully chosen. The paragraphs are strategically placed on each page. Crank does not have much dialogue, but where there is any, the words get the point across with impact.  

As a mother, I found the book heartbreaking and eye-opening. I hoped Kristina would somehow see the light and ask for help with her addiction. But remembering back to when I was a teen, I remembered that feeling of invincibility. I recommend this book to both teens and parents, because you just never know, it may happen to you or someone you love.

Crank has a very fitting, less-than-happy ending. That's the way life is, isn't it?

Ellen Hopkins warns the reader that crank is indeed a monster and to "Think twice. Then think again."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

TAG! I'm It!

First off, I'd like to welcome my new followers. Welcome! I hope you enjoy my blog posts as much as I enjoy writing them. Please feel free to jump in with any questions or comments. I love getting feedback.

Thank you to Courtney, Mariah, Claudsy, and Kim for the award and for tagging me!

I was given 44 questions! Yikes!! Some were the same but most were different. So, I decided to choose 13 to answer. Here I go...

1. Book or E-Book and why?

Book. I don't have an e-reader YET. (Yes, yes, I know I should have one, but I'm one of those people who procrastinates when it comes to technology.) Besides, I like the way thick books feel in my hands, and I enjoy watching my bookmark move a chunk of pages at a time. I know I can read on my PC, but I already spend too many hours on there for work. I'm saving up for a Kindle, but until then, it's books only.

2. What is your favorite movie?

Oh, boy. I have so many favorites. I like epics like Braveheart, Titanic, and Dances with Wolves. I love It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol during the Christmas season. I also love the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies and Pretty Woman. I'm sure I'll think of more after this post runs, lol.

3. Do you have one place on Earth you dream of visiting?

One place? Heck no. I have a bunch of places on my bucket list. Machu Picchu in Peru, Scotland, Egypt, Puerto Rico, China, Japan, Russia, and Kashmir are only a few places I long to see. If I was given only one place to visit, I don't know if I could choose!

4. If you were trapped on an island, would you rather have a box of books, or paper and pens?

I think I would pick paper and pencils. I NEED to write. Whether it's poetry, short stories, or lists of what I'd do when I got off that island.

5. What was the first book you read meant for adults?

I can't remember if it was George Orwell's, 1984, or John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Hey, it was a looooong time ago! In any case, I'm putting them both on my Booksfree queue. Thanks for reminding me about them.

6. Do you read book reviews before reading a book?

No. Sometimes reviews will pique my interest, but usually I don't read them. Books are a personal thing. What you may love, I may not like, and vice versa.

7. Would you rather read poetry or memoir?

I'm nosey. I like memoir.

8. Did you go through a phase during your teens of reading romance or horror?

Horror. I read almost every book Stephen King wrote. He scared the crap out of me numerous times. That clown in It haunted my sleep for weeks.

9. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

Coffee. All day, every day. Tea. Only when I'm sick or cold. Hot chocolate. Only in the Winter. With marshmallows and whipped cream. Very fattening!

10. LEGOS or Tinker Toys?

LEGOS all the way. I can't wait until I have grandchildren so I can play with theirs.

11. Who is your favorite musical artist?

This is another question I can't pick just one answer. Depending on my mood and the task at hand, I listen to Dave Matthews, Alicia Keys, Michael Buble, Metallica, or Mozart.

12. Can you really have too many books?

My husband, John, says YES, but then again, I think he has too many fishing lures.

13. Do you believe in magic? Why or why not?

Magic happens every day, whether you believe in it or not. Some people just open their minds enough to see it all around us.

Since I'm probably one of the last people in the blogosphere to do this post, I'm inviting each and every one of you to play along, and choose at least one of the following 10 questions to answer. (You can answer as many as you'd like!) Don't forget to include your blog address in your comment!

1. If you could spend the day with a famous person, living or dead, who would it be, and how would you spend the time together?

2. If you could travel through time, what century would you choose to live in, and where?

3. What was your favorite book as a child?

4. What is your favorite genre to read?

5. Do you write poetry? Why or why not?

6. Do you have a library card? How often do you use it?

7. If you won 200 million dollars in the lottery, what is the first thing you would purchase?

8. Who is your favorite book character and why?

9. I have too many_________.

10.  What is your favorite season and why?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Author Spotlight--Angelia Almos

Angelia Almos

Angelia formed a lifelong passion for horses at the age of five when she first convinced her parents to let her take riding lessons. She often combines her two passions, writing and horses, which is why a lot of her writing projects have a horse angle to them.
Angelia has been writing off and on since her teens. In the early years, she often quit out of frustration or took a break. But the characters would always return demanding their stories be told.
She actively studies the craft of writing through self-study and courses. Earning a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Arts: Creative Writing from Charter Oak State College, and taking courses from the Institute of Children’s Literature, Long Ridge Writers Group, and the University of California, Los Angeles—Extension Screenwriter’s Certification Program.
Angelia lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her hubby, two daughters. two dogs, two cats, and one pony (thinking she needs another one to bump the number up to two).

~Hi, Angelia! Some writers set aside a special place to work, and others write
wherever they can prop their laptop or a piece of paper. Where do you
do your writing?

I do have an office space to write, but rarely write in there due to it being the coldest room in the house. I prefer the living/dining room. I'm usually writing at either the kitchen table or in one of the recliners. I can also take my laptop outside the house to kids' activities or other places should I need to.

~Who is your favorite character that you've created? Why?

I don't think I really have a favorite character. Every character is special in his or her own way. Usually, my favorite character is whoever I am writing at the moment. I will say some characters are more upfront with me and demand to tell their stories. That's always nice as it makes my job easier. Alexander from The Beast's Redemption and Herrick from Unicorn Keep (not out yet) are two heroes which demanded their stories be told and didn't hold anything back. Other characters are more difficult and reveal things to me slowly, but I adore them all otherwise I wouldn't want to tell their stories.

~Tell us about your muse.

She only comes when she feels I am being diligent with my writing. If I'm slacking she goes on vacation. So, the harder I work the more she helps me out.

~What have you had to learn/unlearn (about yourself or the way you
work) to become a good writer?

Wow, I think a lot on both learning and unlearning. Learning to trust in my voice has been a difficult journey, but is something I am actively working on this year. Figuring out what way I work best has also been a challenge. I tend to be a pantser for the first draft and when I trust in the process the books flow, but when I start to worry about where the story is going I start struggling more with the book. I refine and fill in plot holes with editing, but I also can't edit too much. It's a fine line I walk on the editing part as I will reach a point where I can not work on a project any longer and I have to trust that it is done and the way it is supposed to be. I'm better at trusting that gut instinct of being done than I used to be.

~What would you say is your biggest challenge as a writer?

Keeping the internal editor at bay. I have to be very conscious to not let the audience in when I'm writing as it stops me cold.

~What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

Taking the initiative to indie publish my books. The first book was a leap of faith and pretty scary. But I love it now.  
***Note--Angelia is running a self-publishing tutorial called, Fun With Indie Publishing, on her blog.***

~Tell us where we can find your work.
My books are at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and many other e-retailers. You can find direct links at my websites and

~Thank you so much for sharing with us, Angelia!   

Thanks for having me visit, Denise. It's been fun.

I bet you're all thinking, "I'd like to read one of Angelia's books!" Well, today is your lucky day (for one of you, anyway!) Angelia has offered a selection of her e-books. One lucky commenter will get their choice of book to download to PC or e-reader. Here are the selections:


Please keep in mind that "The Beast's Redemption" is only available in pdf form, but the others are available in pdf, epub, mobi, lrf, or pdb.

All you have to do is post a quick comment and be sure to let us know which book title strikes your fancy. Next Monday, the 19th, I will announce a winner, and Angelia will contact you to claim your free e-book. Ooh! I love giveaways, don't you? Good luck!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fun Facts about March

March is the third month of the year, but did you know that Ancient Rome considered March to be the first month? Since Rome is in the Mediterranean, where the climate is warmer, March was the first month of Spring, and the start of the military campaign season.

March starts on the same day of the week as November, every year.

March is named after Mars, the Greek god of war. Lentmonat was the historical name used by the Saxons, and the eventual namesake of Lent.

March's birthstones are aquamarine and bloodstone. Both stones signify courage. The birth flower is the Daffodil.

People born before March 20th are considered Pisces and those born after March 21st are under the zodia sign of Aries.

Famous Birthdays:

March 2, 1904--Dr. Seuss (Theodore Seuss Geisel)
March 9, 1918--Mickey Spillane (Crime novelist)
March 6, 1806--Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Poet)
March 10, 1940--Chuck Norris (Actor and Badass)
March 14, 1920--Hank Ketcham (Creator of Dennis the Menace)
March 22, 1947--James Patterson (Author)
March 26, 1911--Tennessee Williams (Author)
March 26, 1874--Robert Frost (Poet)

March is the National Month for:

Music In Our Schools
Irish American Heritage
Women's History
Youth Art
Baseball Spring Training (Go Yankees!)

Notable Days in March:

March 7--Purim begins at sundown
March 8--International Working Women's Day
March 11--Worship of Tools Day
March 14--National Pi Day (3.14 is the value of Pi)
March 15--Ides of March
March 17--St. Patrick's Day
March 20--International Earth Day
March 20--The First Day of Spring!
March 25--Waffle Day (I'll have mine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, please.)
March 28--Something on a Stick Day (Umm. Ok.)
March 29--National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. (Hey, that's me and John!)